Pumpkin pie bars are an easy treat that tastes just like pumpkin pie. They’re creamy, lightly spiced, and perfectly pumpkin-y. If you love traditional pumpkin pie you’ll go crazy for these bars!
This post is sponsored by Sprouts. As always, opinions are 100% my own—thank you for supporting the brands that make IBK possible!
Fall is almost here and you know what that means: sweet, comforting, delicious PUMPKIN making its way into all kinds of baked goods!
And these pumpkin pie bars are as comforting as it gets: lightly spiced, perfectly pumpkin-y, and so easy to make. They taste just like pumpkin pie (but with a graham cracker crust) and they’ll be on repeat at my house until January.
Luckily, Sprouts has all the ingredients I need to make these from now ’til January at an affordable price—they make it easy to buy organic ingredients so I can feel that much better about eating dessert :).
Why you’ll love these pumpkin pie bars:
- They come together really quickly with just a little bit of mixing
- Because these bars have a graham cracker crust rather than a traditional pie crust, there’s no fussy pastry to deal with
- Heavy cream in the pumpkin filling makes these bars unbelievably smooth, creamy, and rich
How to make your bars
Start by making a graham cracker crust:
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar
- Stir until the crumbs are evenly saturated with butter
- Press into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish
Then you’ll bake the crust for 5 minutes, and get started on the filling.
- Beat eggs and sugar on medium speed until thick
- Add vanilla, spices, and salt and beat to combine
- Beat in pumpkin puree and heavy cream
- Pour into the crust and bake
Cool your bars to room temperature on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours (or overnight) before serving.
Recipe notes and tips
- I like to line my baking dish with aluminum foil, then use the foil overhang to lift the bars out of the pan. That makes slicing these neatly so much easier.
- Note that the oven temperature needs to be raised after the crust comes out, before you make the filling. If you don’t turn the oven up your bars won’t bake properly.
- Your bars are done once the center of the filling isn’t jiggly—tap on the side of the pan and if you see a jiggle, leave them in a little longer.
- Remember that your bars need to chill awhile before you serve them—they’re a great make-ahead dessert to free up oven space for the holidays!
- You can play around with the spices; if you don’t care for nutmeg you can substitute allspice or add a little more cinnamon. If you love cloves you can add an extra pinch. Just be careful about adding to much because warming spices can go from pleasant to unpleasant quickly.
How to store your bars
Uneaten bars can be stored, covered or in an airtight container, in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. The crust will start to get a little soggy after a couple days, but the bars are totally fine to eat.
The bars can also be frozen, tightly wrapped, for about 2 months. Defrost them in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Can I substitute pumpkin pie filling for pumpkin puree?
Unfortunately you can’t. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and spices, whereas pumpkin puree is just pumpkin.
If you use pumpkin pie filling your bars will turn out overly sweet and improperly spiced.
Did you make these pumpkin pie bars? Hooray! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. And post a pic on Instagram too! Tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see!
Pumpkin pie bars are an easy dessert that tastes just like traditional pumpkin pie, except they're made with a buttery graham cracker crust. They're a great make-ahead option for the holidays!
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from about 8 graham cracker sheets
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Whipped cream for serving optional
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with foil, allowing several inches to hang over the edges. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray and set pan aside.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.
- Turn the oven temperature to 375 and make the filling.
- Combine the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer set to medium until thick and pale in color, about a minute or two.
- Add the vanilla, spices, and salt and beat to combine.
- Beat in the pumpkin puree and heavy cream until fully incorporated. Pour into the crust and bake 32 to 40 minutes, until the center is no longer jiggly.
- Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours (or overnight).
- Use the foil overhang to lift the bars out of the pan (you might need to run a knife around the edge of the bars to loosen them first). Set the bars on a cutting board, then slice and serve with whipped cream (if desired).
Uneaten bars can be stored, covered, in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. They can also be frozen, tightly wrapped, for about 2 months.